From education to employment

Skills Minister launches new resources for old learners in care

New resources were launched by Skills Minister Kevin Brennan today to support carers and older learners.

The materials will help the Department for Business, Innovation Skills’ Learning Revolution project continue its work giving practical advice and support to education providers, care managers and local authorities.

Mr Brennan joined Baroness Estelle Morris to celebrate the success of the project, which showed how continued learning can “overwhelmingly” boost older people’s health and quality of life.

“Using these new teaching materials can make a big difference for older people who may think learning just isn’t for them: they bring with them new opportunities for fun and a whole new lease of life,” said Mr Brennan.

Baroness Estelle Morris: said: “When we talk about ‘education for all’ that includes those in care settings as well. This group of people benefit from learning just as much as any other group and there is good evidence that it improves their well-being as well as being something they enjoy.

“We have to be more ambitious and the materials being launched today will raise our sights and make more of us see what is possible.”

England’s population is aging, and the Government has committed to improving care services to be more adept at providing stimulating and enjoyable activities for those in care.

Research by The National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE), the non-government group promoting lifelong learning in England, has pointed to reduced isolation, improved physical and mental health and a greater enjoyment of life for those continuing to learn whilst in care.

Fiona Aldridge, NIACE’s programme director of research, said: “The impact of people living longer than ever before will be huge. The number of people reaching the 85 is likely to double by 2026. For too many people this means they will be living with health conditions that reduce their quality of life, for even longer. The cost to our health budgets will be enormous and a huge strain on the economy.

“Regardless of disabilities or differences in ability, all older people in care settings should have the opportunity to take part in learning activities, to stimulate them, help them acquire new skills and to share ones they already have with others.

“The research we, and others, have done, illustrates the multiple positive benefits learning can have on residents and staff. Today’s launch is a significant moment in increasing and improving learning opportunities for older people in care.”

Jason Rainbow

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